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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Rarities predominate in HBSO concert

By Bradley Winterton

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HCMC – There can be absolutely no doubt that Sunday’s concert, May 12, at the Saigon Opera House will be a truly resplendent occasion.

Entitled A Night of Excerpts from Famous Operas, it will consist of 16 items – a large number for a medley of this kind – performed by the HBSO orchestra, a range of soloists, with here and there the HBSO chorus.

There is no question of the program being of merely tried and tested pieces. If anything, less well-known items predominate, with the occasional old favourite added occasionally.

To begin with the favourites, the program will open with Rossini’s overture to his opera Cenerentola (Cinderella), followed by Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances from his opera Prince Igor. Rossini – who Verdi thought of as the greatest opera composer of all time – reappears with his celebrated comic aria from The Barber of Seville summoning Figaro here, there and everywhere – sung by Dao Mac.

But there are also less well-known items from well-known composers, such as a piece by Mascagni from a very rarely performed opera – Cavalleria Rusticana was his only real success.

Then there’s Puccini – not Boheme or Butterfly or Turandot, but from Le Villi (“spirits”), an early work using the afterlife ghosts featured elsewhere in the ballet Giselle.

Excitement and frequent surprises, in other words, will be the themes of this major event.

The conductor will be Tran Nhat Minh, one of the leading lights of the current HBSO line-up.

Ticket prices range from VND1,000,000 downwards, with a special concession for students of VND150,000.

This wide-ranging concert begins at 8 p.m.

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